5-1 , 3-1
4-3 , 1-2
5-1 , 3-1
4-3 , 1-2
Game recap: Football |
STATESBORO, Ga. –Football #25 James Madison suffered his first loss of the season Saturday night in heartbreaking fashion, dropping a 45-38 decision to Georgia Southern in Sun Belt Conference action at Allen E. Paulson Stadium.
The Eagles improved to 4-3 on aggregate and 1-2 in SBC play, while the Dukes fell to 5-1 on the year and 3-1 in league play.
In a game featuring the Sun Belt’s two best offenses, the teams had 1,265 yards, including 1,046 through the air.
Kyle Vantrease led the way for GS, as he was 38 of 64 for 578 passing yards and four touchdowns. It was a single-game program high for yards per pass, and he’s also the first opposing quarterback to pass 400+ against JMU since Nov. 5, 2016, when Richmond’s Kyle Lauletta in had 435.
Amare Jones had a big day, making seven catches for 164 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Jeremy Singleton also had 7 catches for 108 yards. Defensively, Derrick Canteen and Anthony Wilson each had double-digit tackles, with 12 and 11 respectively.
For JMU, Percy Agyei-Obese eclipsed the 3,000 rushing yards mark in the game, as he finished with 106 rushing yards. He is the fifth player in school history to achieve this feat, standing at 3,055 for his career. It was also his 11th career 100-yard game.
Todd Centio was 28 of 48 for a program-best single-game 468 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. He also rushed for a career-high 44 yards and three touchdowns. It was his first career game with multiple rushing touchdowns.
In the passing game, Reggie Brown caught a career-high eight passes for 136 yards and a touchdown in his first career 100-yard game. Thornton also broke the century mark, making five grabs for 126 yards, while Devin Ravenel added four receptions for 75 yards and Terrance Greene Jr. had four catches for 74 yards and a touchdown.
defensively, Sam Kidd had a team-high 10 tackles, while Jailin Walker tied his career high with nine. Jordan Swan also set a career high for tackles with seven saves.
HOW DID IT HAPPEN
- JMU’s offense was prolific in the first 15 minutes, gaining 206 yards. On his opener, Centeio connected on a 51-yard pass to Thornton, setting up a 17-yard quarterback for the score.
- On the opener of the second, Centeio again hit paydirt on a 13-yard run for his second touchdown to make it 14-0.
- The Eagles responded with back-to-back touchdowns, as Vantrease used multiple passing plays to establish a 13-yard connection with Amare Jones. In the practice that followed, a punt blocked in the end zone by the Eagles tied the game at 14-14 with 10:58 remaining in the half.
- The Dukes regained the lead on a 26-yard field goal from Camden Sage, his third of the season, to bring the score to 17-14. On this drive, Agyei-Obese topped the 3,000 yard mark.
- After a missed kick from GS, the Dukes only needed three plays, Centeio’s keeper from 10 yards out made it 24-14.
- On the next play, a near-interception turned into a 75-yard touchdown pass from Vantrease to Jones for their second TD connection of the day, putting the hosts up 24-21 just over a minute after the start of the second half.
- The Eagles tied the game at 24-24 on a 20-yard field goal from Alex Raynor with 5:39 left.
- GS took his first lead on a 37-yard touchdown pass to Jalen White to make it 31-24 heading into fourth.
- The Eagles extended the lead to 34-24 early in the fourth with Raynor’s 41-yard field goal.
- JMU was not finished as three consecutive deep passes brought the Dukes into the end zone as Centeio linked up with Brown on a 28-yard strike to make it 34-31 with 6:24 left to play.
- JMU got a huge defensive save deep in the red zone, as GS settled for 24 yards to give the home side a 37-31 lead with 3:53 to go.
- On the ensuing ride, Centeio found Thornton on the fourth try to continue the ride. He then found Greene who cut down the middle for a 25-yard score, giving the Dukes a 38-37 lead with 2:28 left.
- Vantrease then found Derwin Burgess Jr. from 22 yards out and GS converted the two-point try to retake the lead at 45-38 with 1:10 to play.
- The Dukes got to the Georgia Southern 38 on the final drive of the game, but Centeio threw an interception with 18 seconds left to seal the game.
- In the offensive drive, JMU beat Georgia Southern, 675-590, but Georgia Southern had 578 of those yards in the air.
- In the first half, JMU had a 366-147 yard advantage, which included holding the hosts to just 10 rushing yards. However, a blocked punt for a touchdown, coupled with two interceptions, made it 17-14 at the break.
- The third quarter saw a yardage turnaround, as GS gained 245 yards to JMU’s 99, to take a 31-24 lead over the Dukes heading into the final stanza.
- The Eagles were helped by four takeaways, in addition to blocking for a score, while JMU had just one interception.
- Time of possession was controlled by Dukes 32:30-27:30.
- On third down, JMU was 7 of 15, while the Eagles were 6 of 17.
- JMU committed its most penalties of the season, with 10 for a total of 43 yards.
- Centeio overtook Vad Lee for the JMU single-season pass mark, as Lee had 433 comebacks on November 15, 2014.
- Thornton moved up to fifth at JMU with 2,167 career receiving yards.
JMU returns home for Homecoming on Saturday October 22 when they host Marshall. Kick-off is scheduled for 3.30pm inside Bridgeforth Stadium and the match will be shown on ESPN+.